A close-up of the baby's face clearly showing the lip shape and slightly separated eyelids. The slight shadowing seen to the left of the image is from the wall of the uterus, which at this stage of the pregnancy will always be very close to your baby.
Women had their babies at home for generations; it was only in the 20th century that women began to have hospital births. If you're considering a home birth, remember that the majority of pregnancies and deliveries are normal and do not need any medical intervention.
Be reassured that if you have decided to have a home birth and then change your mind, for example if you decide you want an epidural, or your midwife advises you that the baby needs help, you will be transferred to a hospital.
Have all the items you need for labor and birth gathered in the place you intend to deliver, and organize your items separately from the baby's items.
As well as practical items, such as clothing, toiletries, and sanitary pads, you may also want to have on hand music, phone numbers, and a camera. It's a good idea to have a well-stocked fridge so make a list of nutritious foods to stock up on before your due date. This will help you during labor and in the first week of parenthood. Your baby will need diapers, cotton cloths, onesies, clothing, sheets, and blankets.
If you have other children, you may need to make arrangements for them to be taken care of.
Even though you're planning to have your baby at home, there are circumstances in which you may need to be transferred to a hospital. This can happen before, during, or after labor and so, even though you may not want to contemplate this outcome, have an emergency bag packed just in case.
Ten to 30 percent of pregnant women carry the strep B bacteria in the vagina or rectal area. Known as GBS (group B streptococcus), it is usually harmless in adults, but can cause a rare and serious infection in newborn babies if untreated.
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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